Offshore wind is now substantially cheaper than new nuclear electricity generation, and global expenditure in the sector is expected to reach £210 billion in the next decade.
Scotland has several competitive advantages in offshore wind, including:
- established expertise and experience in offshore oil and gas
- a skilled offshore workforce
- excellent port infrastructure
- a strong innovation hub
These advantages have helped make Scotland an important location for offshore wind innovation, research and development, and test and demonstration. Among several successful offshore wind farms, Scotland also hosts the world's largest floating offshore wind array offshore Peterhead.
In Scotland's energy strategy we commit to considering new opportunities for offshore wind development in Scottish waters and to supporting the development of an innovative and competitive supply chain that will create opportunities for Scottish manufacturers.
Future leasing rounds
In November 2017 Crown Estate Scotland announced its intention to run a further leasing round for commercial-scale offshore wind energy. In accordance with Scotland's National Marine Plan, the spatial locations for such a leasing round will be identified through a Sectoral Marine Planning process.
Between June and July 2018 Marine Scotland ran an offshore wind sectoral marine plan scoping consultation to gather views on the Areas of Search that have been identified as initial potential areas for developing offshore wind energy.
The responses to this consultation, along with the outputs of the statutory Strategic Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment processes, will help shape the Areas of Search into Draft Plan Options which will be included in a draft plan for offshore wind energy intended for consultation in 2019.
This will be subject to a period of statutory consultation, and once finalised, the Offshore Wind Plan will ensure the spatial strategy is in place to enable the successful development of the offshore wind sector.
The offshore wind industry is developing a sector deal proposal, with the aim of securing funding through the UK Government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Sector deals are partnerships between the UK Government and industry on sector-specific issues, and have the potential to create significant opportunities to boost productivity, employment, innovation and skills.
We continue to work closely with the UK Government and offshore wind industry during the development of the document to ensure that the deal takes into account Scotland's offshore wind potential and opportunity.